Using Credit Cards For Online Purchases

With the abundance of products available on the Internet and the ease of using credit cards online, people all around the world are discovering the benefits of online shopping. Buying online with credit cards can protect you and your investment if you follow some simple tips for online credit card use.

Get a Virtual Credit Card Online

When you’re buying online, you can protect your credit card information by using what some companies call a virtual, or temporary, credit card number. The virtual card number can be used only once, protecting you and your information when buying online.

Some credit card issuers and banks offer these temporary credit cards. Generally, you download a piece of software, and the company or bank provides you with a “disposable” number to use for a single online shopping session.

Virtual or one-time use credit card numbers can’t be used for online purchases that you have to pick up in person. Merchants may want proof that you’re the one who made the purchase, and a one-time use credit card number won’t match your regular credit card with your name on it.

If you shop online frequently, consider using just one credit card for all of your online shopping. This way, you can easily keep track of charges and quickly take care of any possible theft issues.

Multiple Passwords for Secure Buying Online

Both Visa and MasterCard enable credit card users to enter an extra password when making purchases from online merchants who participate in their security program. However, many merchants don’t participate, so someone who steals your credit card number can still use it with many non-participating online merchants.

Zero Liability for Credit Cards Online

When you use a debit card online, potential thieves can empty your bank account rather quickly if they steal your number. If you use credit cards online, however, some credit card issuers offer zero liability, meaning that you aren’t responsible for any fraudulent purchases.

If your cards don’t offer zero liability, you’re responsible only for a maximum of $50 in the case of unauthorized purchases, according to the Fair Credit Billing Act.

Other Benefits of Buying Online with Credit Cards

You can often get the purchase price of an item charged back to your account if the merchandise is faulty, undelivered or damaged, and the merchant refuses to give you a refund.

When you make online credit card transactions, you’re usually offered the same benefits as a store purchase. You can usually return items, and you receive a confirmation email and a record of the transaction on your monthly card statement.